Civilization VI's first expansion Rise and Fall: Release date and details

It's been a little while since we heard from Civilization VI. Though 2K and Firaxis have been supporting the game with Civilization and Scenario DLC packs here and there since launch, it hasn't received a full expansion yet. That's all going to change next year, when freshly-announced expansion Rise and Fall launches.

Expansions are usually big things for Civilization games. Civilization V, for example, was almost a completely different game after its two expansions launched, and in keeping with that tradition, Rise and Fall seems to change things drastically in Civ VI. 2K Games gives us a rather in-depth overview of what's being added in Rise and Fall in a post over on Civilization's official site.

For starters, Rise and Fall will add nine new leaders and eight new civilizations to the game, but 2K isn't ready to talk about what or who they are just yet. Instead, those new leaders and civilizations will be revealed over the coming weeks. Since there's one more new leader than there are civilizations, it stands to reason that an existing civilization – or perhaps one of the new ones – will get a second leader, much in the same way Greece had two leaders in the base game.

Beyond the new leaders and civilizations, the biggest addition coming in Rise and Fall are Dark and Golden Ages. Entering a new in-game era now also comes with the possibility of entering a Dark or Golden Age. Which one you enter is dependent on your era score for the previous era, and both open up new options for players (though, obviously, it doesn't sound like Dark Ages will necessarily be something to strive for).

Civilization 6's competitive culture system is also getting something a rework with the introduction of city loyalty. You'll now have to keep your cities loyal to your empire, because cities with low loyalty will risk declaring its independence, in turn allowing other civilizations to woo that city and add it to their own empires.READ MORE – The Best Games of 2016: Civilization VIWe'll also see new features for governors, who can be used to further specialize your city alongside districts. These changes will be joined new features for alliances, a new emergency situation system, and finally, a more fleshed-out in-game progression system that awards you with bonuses for doing things like circumnavigating the globe (with those rewards getting better if you're the first civilization in the game to do perform a certain "Historic Moment").

It seems like what's being described today merely scratches the surface of all that's new in Rise and Fall. We'll undoubtedly hear more about it in the weeks and months ahead, so stay tuned for that. 2K and Firaxis have plenty of time to announce new features, as Rise and Fall won't be arriving until February 8, 2018.